Extensive photo editing capabilities don’t have to be expensive. Even if Photoshop continues to be the most popular photo-editing software out there, there are some very good alternatives available. We’ll introduce you to four alternative photo-editing programmes that are just as good as Photoshop and are completely free of charge.
A very popular programme amongst free photo-editing software is the open-source programme GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). This software offers both beginners and demanding photographers alike the most important tools necessary for professional photo editing. Besides the normal functions offered by all photo-editing software such as various filters for colour matching and the ability to rotate and crop images, GIMP also has a “magic scissors” tool that allows you to cut out or retain individual elements in the photo. Thanks to the programme’s single-window mode, the software is accessible even for beginners. In just a few steps you can adjust colour and contrast, make the background blurrier, and reduce image noise. Also, thanks to countless available plug-ins, the programme can be expanded to your heart’s content. Popular GIMP plug-ins are “Watermark,” which allows the user to add a watermark to digital photos, or “Shadows and Highlights,” which makes it possible to adjust the shadows and lighting.
PhotoScape is most suitable for beginners and amateur photographers since it offers a wide variety of possibilities to edit photos as well as the ability to manage and view them. This photo-editing software is also very easy to use. Standard functions such as cropping, brightness adjustment, and soft-focus effects are included with PhotoScape as well as the ability to insert objects into your digital photos. There are several highlights of this programme. One is the GIF-animator, which allows you to create small GIF’s from several digital photos in the blink of an eye. Another highlight is that this programme makes it possible to easily create a poster or collage from a collection of photos. Furthermore, this all-round programme has a RAW-converter which makes it possible to convert RAW files into JPEG’s. Besides offering a quick overview of all your digital photos and the ability to edit and optimise them with easy-to-use tools, this programme also offers a variety of extra features that will enable you to creatively edit your photos.
Lightbox Free is best suited for quick and easy photo editing, whether it’s removing red-eye, cropping, or just simple colour adjustments. Besides the standard functions, this programme also comes with other special tools for editing your photos, such as removing colour faults, brightening shadows, or adjusting the contrast. It’s also possible to edit RAW files using this software. Thanks to the programme’s simplicity, this free photo-editing software is especially well suited for beginners.
Paint.NET can also be described as a good all-round photo-editing programme since this free software is easier to use than Photoshop, but still offers a multitude of functions. This programme was developed by Washington State University in cooperation with Microsoft and was initially developed as a replacement of the tried and tested programme MS Paint. However, this programme is capable of much more than its predecessor and especially stands out due to its overall user friendliness. Besides the functions available from any standard photo-editing software like cropping, colour correction, or brightness and contrast adjustment, this free programme also comes with various tools that users of Photoshop will already be familiar with such as lasso, paintbrush, or magic wand. This programme also comes with an editor that supports layers, blending, and transparency. Thanks to numerous plug-ins, this free software can also easily be expanded. With the “PSD Plug-in,” for instance, users can even load and save Photoshop .PSD files.